UN Committee on Migrant Workers issues findings on Rwanda and Azerbaijan

| Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:05:19 GMT

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Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers (CMW) has issued its findings on Rwanda and Azerbaijan, the States parties that it reviewed during its latest session.

The findings contain positive aspects of each country's implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families, as well as the Committee's main concerns and recommendations. Some of the key highlights include:

Rwanda

The Committee expressed concern that there is no law prohibiting child labour. It was similarly concerned about the lack of information on the implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value. It recommended that the State party carry out regular and unannounced workplace inspections to ensure that migrant workers have the same pay and work conditions as nationals. It also urged Rwanda to redouble its efforts to eliminate child labour by taking legal action against those who exploit children economically, and to ensure child victims receive full reparation.

The Committee was also concerned at the limited knowledge about human trafficking among local leaders, teachers, young people, border communities, and refugees. It recommended that Rwanda adopt a holistic approach to tackle trafficking, such as setting up a cross-sector office that involves civil society and the private sector, and developing a human trafficking database.

To enhance civil society’s participation in protecting the rights of migrant workers, the Committee recommended that the State party strengthen its dialogue with non-governmental organizations, and provide those working with migrant workers with all necessary means to take part in the implementation of the Convention.

Azerbaijan

The CMW was concerned about the State party’s border regime that is largely geared towards border protection, and about the criminalization of irregular border crossings. The Committee considered that irregular entry, stay or exit may constitute at most administrative offences and should never be considered criminal practices.  It recommended that the State party adopt a human rights-based approach to migration, including de-criminalizing irregular border crossings.

The Committee was concerned about the practice of administrative immigration detention. It urged Azerbaijan to immediately stop detaining children and other vulnerable groups of migrant workers, as well as asylum-seekers and refugees. It recommended that the State party consider alternative measures to detention in all cases and ultimately put an end to immigration detention.

The CMW called on the State party to effectively investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. It recommended that Azerbaijan strengthen international, regional and bilateral cooperation through agreements with countries of origin, transit and destination to prevent and combat such trafficking.

The above findings, officially named Concluding Observations, are now available online on the session webpage.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).